As a matter of semantic difference, I think your issue is not that Sublime isn't saving your view layout, it's that it's not saving your view layout as a default layout. The distinction there is very light (and again just semantically different) and might be why you're not getting many responses or why people think that they're not experiencing the same problem as you (or can't reproduce it).
The view layout of existing windows is persisted in the session file so that they can be restored at startup, but as far as I'm aware the default layout for a new window is a single pane/column and has been that way for at least as long as I've been using ST3 (roughly two years).
I would have guessed that there would already be an issue reported where someone was requesting the ability to set a default layout for new windows but a quick search didn't turn up anything, although I didn't dig too deeply.
It might be an idea to make this as a feature request, although if Sublime 2 had this feature and Sublime 3 doesn't, it may have been dropped for some reason. In that case there may be reason for not adding it back.
All that said, as @kingkeith mentioned above it's possible to create a plugin that will get you most of the way there. Here is a stack overflow link where someone wants something similar (two rows instead of two columns) and I there is a plugin in there that will do this in most cases.
The emphasis there is because the plugin works in two ways. First, when it is loaded (at Sublime startup) it forces a default layout on all of the windows that are currently set to a single pane. Secondly it tracks when the
new_window command has just finished executing and applies the default layout to the new window.
This works nicely on Windows and Linux because on those operating systems closing the last Sublime window also has the effect of terminating Sublime. When you start Sublime again, any windows that it restores presumably have your default layout and are left alone, while if it doesn't have anything to restore it creates a new window which will have the default applied, and then from this point forward newly created windows have the new default layout.
On MacOS it's common for applications to remain running even when they have no visible windows, so on that OS when you close the last window Sublime remains running. At this point if you click on the dock icon it creates a new window automatically, but this doesn't invoke the
new_window command, so the plugin doesn't know that you have a new window and does nothing.
So on that operating system and in that situation, you would need to do one of:
- Manually change the layout of this new window (possibly with an extension to this plugin, which would be easy to add)
- Create the first window by selecting
New Window from the dock icon popup menu instead of clicking on the icon directly
- Immediately create a new window with the keyboard shortcut, then close the original.
It's also possible to change how the code works so that it could better detect new windows, but that would require constant polling of the window list to detect new windows, which due to performance concerns that plugin doesn't currently do.